This time of year, is always a risky one for travellers. With the holidays, we tend to be on the road often, visiting friends and family. Of course, given that it’s also early winter in Canada, the weather tends to make road trips a little more difficult. The snow and ice adds a lot of potential danger to holiday road trips, so be sure you know the best ways to stay safe on the winter roads.
Assess your car.
Long before you put your keys into the ignition, you need to determine if your car is ready for a winter road trip. The very first thing you need to assess is your tires. At this time of year, being in Canada, there’s no reason you should not have winter tires on your automobile. Besides that, do a thorough check-up before the travel season. Fluids, battery, oil—all these things can be affected by the cold weather. No sense getting on the road in a car that can’t handle the season.
Look at weather reports.
Planning ahead is always important for any road trip. This time of year, that becomes imperative. Along with mapping out the smartest and safest route, you should be sure to monitor the weather as well. There’s nothing worse than running into an unexpected snowfall and knowing in advance can help you plan to avoid any bad weather.
Aim to get there safe, not early.
I know on any road trip, your mind goes to the options that will get you there as fast as possible. Driving for an extended period can become quite a bore and if the weather isn’t cooperating than it can be all the more intolerable. But in the winter, it’s best to take it slower and use more caution than usual. Don’t worry about how fast the other cars are going, go at a speed that is safe and smart for the conditions.
Mind the snow on your car.
Before you get on the road, take a look at the snow that has built up on your car, especially after a snow fall. One of my biggest annoyances is seeing a car driving around with a pile of snow on their roof. It’s dangerous for you and every other driver on the road, and it take two minutes to clear off. Apart from that, be wary of snow covering your licence plate, lights and any windows.
Pack an emergency kit.
No matter how many precautions you take, there is always the chance that you could get stuck somewhere out in the snow. Always prepare for those unfortunate moments with an emergency kit. Include essentials like a flashlight, blanket, fully changed cell phone, a shovel and anything else you think might help for getting snowed in.
Know when it’s just not worth it.
While it’s never fun to miss out on Christmas festivities, sometimes the weather has other plans for us. Regardless on what you might be turning down, you should always be willing to concede when conditions are too poor and driving is too risky.